Pan Roasted Fillet of Brill

Bring on the olive oil for this classical Provençal meal of pan roasted filet of brill, sauce vierge and a confit of fennel. The sauce vierge (virgin sauce) combines the aforementioned olive oil with a scrumptious blend of tomato, olive, lemon and basil. The fennel confit is topped with the brill, which has been kept crisp on the outside and just a tiny bit undercooked on the inside. Dan recommends saving the excess confit oil to share with others or treat yourself.


Fennel Confit Ingredients:

• 1 large bulb of fennel, trimmed and cored, finely sliced

• ½  of a white onion, finely sliced

• Zest of ½ lemon, cut into chiffonade

• Juice of ½ a lemon

• ½ cup (125 ml.) of olive oil

• 1 cup (250 ml.) of dry white wine

• A few good pinches of salt

• A couple pinches of fennel seeds

• A pinch of dried crushed chili

Sauce Vierge Ingredients:

• 3 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut into concasse with the skin left on

• 4 basil stalks, pick the leaves and reserve both the stalks and leaves for use

• A pinch of crushed chili

• A pinch of toasted fennel seeds

• 1 T. (9 g.) of capers, lightly crushed and rinsed

• ½ of a lemon for juicing and a few rasps of lemon zest

• 1 garlic clove, crushed then sliced

• 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

• ¼ cup (34 g.) of black olives (nicoise or kalamata), pitted and quartered

• ½ cup (125 ml.) of light olive oil

Pan Roasted Fillet of Brill Ingredients:

*Note: This dish could be made with fillets or steaks of fish that you like.

• 4 fillets of brill, skin off

• A splash of Canola oil

• A small knob (1.5-2 T. or 22-30 g.) of unsalted butter

• Sea salt


Cooking Fennel Confit:

• Place all of the ingredients in a pot, cover lightly with a circular dish of parchment paper known as a cartouche or a lid will work just fine. Place on medium heat and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the fennel is soft.

Cooking Sauce Vierge:

• Heat olive oil to the temperature of a warm bath and add basil stalks, crushed chili, fennel seeds, garlic, lemon zest and finely chopped flat leaf parsley (some stalk is ok, but try to limit it as much as possible). After about 2-3 minutes it is time to remove the basil stalks. Once that is done add in your capers, olives, tomato concasse, lemon juice. Turn the heat off about now. Have a little taste to see if you need to add any salt. The olives and capers may make it salty enough. Taking the left over basil leaves, roll them up and run your knife through them and add them to the pot.

• Remove from heat and allow to stand for five minutes.

Cooking Pan Roasted Fillet of Brill:

• Heat up a non-stick frying pan to a medium heat. Add a splash of Canola oil. Season the brill with salt on both sides. Lay the fish down in the pan and cook on one side over medium heat for approximately 3-5 minutes. To roast, place the oven friendly pan into a pre-heated oven at a high heat for another 3-5 minutes.


Put the fennel confit in the middle of a plate. Lay the fish delicately on top. Spoon sauce vierge over the dish. Serve immediately.

More Recipes from DAN